Friday, December 7, 2012

Best of 2012

“I found a place where it feels alright.
I heard a record, and it opened my eyes.”
-          Pretty Girls Make Graves. “Speakers Push the Air”

There may be no stronger influence on a D3C event than a great record. It’s the reason why we try to have a musician perform with us every month, and it’s why, often, play titles are cribbed from lyrics (I always wanted my table of contents to read like a playlist.)
New York music scenes were the models for D3C: 70’s Punk, early 80’s No Wave, late 80’s Hardcore; it’s where we first discovered that all the truly important things were DIY, and too this day, we’re still inspired by every generation of boys and girls who pick up a guitar and just go.

In that spirit, we’re thrilled to present the first ever, Dialogue with Three Chords, Best Albums of the Year list.

From now until January 1st, I’ll be counting down, oh, let’s say, our top 75 releases from 2012, and see how far I get. I’ll also link to our 2012 playlist on spotify.

These albums helped shape our voice this year, so please, listen, comment, and tell us what we missed.

75. Down and Outs – Forgotten Streets                                                                                                 Excellent Rock and Roll leaning Punk. In all honesty, this is more of what the Gaslight Anthem wrought: Springsteen by way of The Clash, but what’s interesting about hearing a UK band attempt this style is that there seems to be a strong Oi! influence here, either by design or simply because the best Oi! always had a strong Pub Rock influence.                                                                                                                           Down and Outs at Soundcloud                                                                                                                     
74. Dan Vapid and the Cheats – Dan Vapid and the Cheats                                                                  Pop Punk, and I can’t believe I’m typing this, has made a huge comeback over the last few years, and that’s something that I never would have believed, having lived through the 90’s and watching it go from a handful of great Lookout! Records bands to a bunch of Ramones clones and childish nonsense that would make Blink 182 say “grow the hell up.” Yet, here we are, and of course, one of the best releases in this genre comes from an elder statesman: Dan Vapid from the legendary (though troubled) Screeching Weasel. Pop done right can still be an exhilarating thing.                                          

73. The Magnetic Fields – Love at the Bottom of the Sea                                                                    It seems like we need a “theme” for every Magnetic Fields release since “69 Love Songs” (Acoustic, Electronic, Distorted, etc), so I’m taking it upon myself to dub this one “Psychedelic”. It’s not ponderous, wonky, acid-fried, or pastoral, but it is brightly colored, so maybe “Madchester” is the better theme. Either way, Merritt is still one of the best lyricists around, able to be achingly funny and desperately sad at the same time, and that’s a hell of a trick.

72. Masked Intruder – Masked Intruder                                                                                          You may have a problem with a band working under what can only be described as a “stalker/home invasion” motif, and I can’t say I blame you, but they manage to do it with enough smarts that it begins to sound like a carefully crafted skewering of Emo Punk’s lonely and pining male-on-the-verge-of-derangement song craft (particularly on the outstanding “Heart Shaped Guitar”). Over-intellectualizing aside, it’s a ripping Pop Punk record. 

71. Joey Ramone - “…ya know?”                                                                                                      This not the best album, nor is it an embarrassment, which is an achievement in and of itself since it was assembled from half-finished vocal takes, it’s simply a chance to hear Joey’s voice one more time.

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